The Driver Shortage

The Driver Shortage

Truck drivers are the basic unit of transportation capacity and the glue that holds supply chains together. No container or straight truck or trailer moves without, at some point, a truck driver. Even so, trucking companies, especially truckload carriers, often have great difficulty finding, hiring and keeping drivers. Nearly every period of economic growth is accompanied by a driver "shortage," including the recovery that began in 2009.

Is today’s shortage truly a demographic lack of available qualified drivers, or is it a market shortage created by comparatively low pay and unsatisfactory working conditions? How will federal regulations governing licensing, medical testing, safety enforcement and how long drivers may work affect demand and supply? Unless trucking companies, logistics providers and shippers work together to finally resolve trucking’s “driver problem,” transportation and logistics costs will rise substantially, and supply chains will be put at risk.

Read more:

10 Reasons for Driver Turnover and What Carriers Can Do About It

 

Special Coverage

Truck drivers by the numbers, 2013
Five years into the U.S. economic recovery, trucking companies say finding and hiring drivers is harder than ever. This driver shortage is a roadblock to expansion, limiting incremental growth in truck capacity, and a prime reason truck rates are set to increase at a faster pace in 2014.

News & Analysis

Weekly wrap-up for Aug. 30, 2014
30 Aug 2014
Members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union ratified a new collective bargaining agreement with grain handlers in the Pacific Northwest, ending a two-year battle between the two parties.
01 Nov 2013
Truck driver pay — or the lack of it — is a key factor in the so-called driver shortage, though not the only reason motor carriers can’t hire enough drivers.
31 Oct 2013
A bipartisan trio of U.S. legislators has introduced legislation that would block new hours of service rules for the trucking industry, the latest salvo in motor carriers’ fight against the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulation.
25 Oct 2013
Knight Transportation reported its net income in the third quarter of 2013 was $15.2 million, dropping 9.1 percent year-over-year from $16.7 million.
Schneider truck
24 Oct 2013
Using in-cab and back office technology, Schneider National has measured a 3.1 percent drop in productivity since new truck driver hours of service rules took effect July 1.
Trucking
22 Oct 2013
The American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted For-Hire Trucking Tonnage Index increased 1.4 percent month-over-month in September, which matched August’s gain.

Commentary

There is not enough investment in trucks to maintain a steady growth rate in step with rising demand, despite strong Class 8 truck sales this year.

Video

YRC Worldwide’s new CEO James Welch details the progress of the turnaround efforts for the $5 billion trucking operator. YRC News: